Integrative Biology and Robots
https://learn.adafruit.com/force-sensitive-resistor-fsr/using-an-fsr (code I am using is from here)
Sensor 1. Feeling the Pressure!
I am buliding a robot that pushes (and pulls), and also tells me exactly how hard/fast those pushes (and pulls) are. This project has challenged my engineering and electrical skills, which is exactly what I hoped would happen. It has also made me realize how limited a robot's view of the world is. A robot passively intakes the world through just a few, very carefully calibrated sensors and saves the data as a static line of numbers. Humans, in contrast, have millions of sensors constantly inputting information that can be ignored or amplified by the brain*.
One of the sensors I've been working with is a pressure sensor called a 'force sensitive resistor' (FSR). These sensors use the difference in electrical potential on the force pad (see figure 1) as a proxy for the amount of force being exerted on the pad. The sensors are flexible and light, which is perfect for prototyping. FSRs are also the only sensor I am using that does not require a Library or physical amplifier to run, just a power source, resistor, and your desired output (i.e. an LED or Arduino if you want to look at the numbers).
*Well, it's really the entire nervous system that fine-tunes and filters our sensory experiences.
I was very excited to get the latest issue of the Journal of Herpetology today (Vol.51, No.3)! Not only was my own first authored publication in the volume, so was fellow researcher Kelsey Jenkins!
The Kelseys are taking over, clearly.
Read the article here:
Summer 2017 Lab Crew